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Old 06-28-2017, 03:17 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Europe,Latvia,Riga
Distribution: slackware,slax, OS X, exMandriva
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slackware64 14.2 +last kernel _ nvidia = blank screen from half a boot process

Linux make me feel very happy more with every year.
at the beginning it was much more stable software, i think.

intel dg965ss motherboard, 8 Gb RAM, core 2 duo 2.2 ghz CPU,
Nvidia ASUS GT630 videocard with 2 gb RAM. ( PCI-express).

fresh slackware64 14.2 installation, latest kernel, upgraded today via slackpkg.

initlevel 3
all looks ok.
download last long-lived branch nvidia driver ( 375.66 ?).
start install it - it says about opensource nvidia driver, disable it via modprobe - as usual - ok.

start booting is ok till about half a boot process ( there is coming a lot of kernel messages), and then screen turns blank.
monitor show, there is a signal, there is a backlight, but no any graphical information - screen is completely blank.

great, yes?
ok, i have no total novice - i connect via ssh from my macbook, see machine is up and running.
try to connect monitor cable to onboard i915 video - no signal.
install nvidia driver, reboot - the same story. no any information on monitor after about half a boot process.

try to do vga=ask in lilo.conf and re-run lilo. boot, choose some videomodes - there is seen framebuffer video, but the same - about in a half of machine booting process there is no any videoinformation - screen is blank.

turn on init4 via /etc/initlevel or how that file names. reboot
ok, now there is any information lost after about half a boot process, but after some time display come to life, and start to show graphical login to x window system.

for me, looks like kernel in some stage try to decide, where and in what resolution it give video output, and if you have nvidia card without nouveau opensource driver from kernel, and textmode - you have an problem....

on the same hardware on 14.1 and upgrading to 14.2 ( but with older kernels, i do not upgrade old sytem about a year) all was ok.
i get into problems only today, when install fresh system for my son, and try install legacy nvidia driver ( from nvidia site).....
Old 06-29-2017, 03:40 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2012
Location: Mauritius
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 552

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With nouveau it normally like this:
The system boots in a low resolution up to the point where the nouveau module is loaded. Then you have graphics, the resolution becomes better and you get the prompt for login in runlevel 3.

With the older Nvidia drivers it used to be like this:
The system boots in low resolution. At some point you see the kernel loading the Nvidia module but all along you remain in low resolution. Finally you get your login prompt in runlevel 3 in low resolution. You login and startx, then the graphics kick in and your nvidia card is put to use in X. The tty's are just blank screens and the X session is in high res. Back then the nvidia drivers could not render tty.

But as from driver version 364.16, nvidia drivers started supporting KMS modesetting (, so that you can have a high resolution framebuffer.

This could be affecting you. It is likely that the system boots and you get a visual output up to the point where it loads the Nvidia module. Then, the driver attempts to give you a high resolution in the tty, but it does not work correctly. So, when your default runlevel is 4, you lose the screen output between the loading of the driver until X starts, then it is similar to the older drivers, i.e. your graphics works correctly in X.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-29-2017, 11:55 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Europe,Latvia,Riga
Distribution: slackware,slax, OS X, exMandriva
Posts: 591

Original Poster
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thanks for answer, looks like it is the root of problem, but also, from what i read, it can be solved only via use of initramfs
Old 06-29-2017, 01:36 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2014
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 677

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Nouveau KMS works here without initramfs, it's just the nvidia KMS blob that doesn't work.
I just downgrade to 340.102, which doesn't have modesetting.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-14-2017, 06:54 AM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2017
Location: Columbus, OH
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 10

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Hey, Slack newbie here. Created an account here specifically to look for this issue, since it's got me stumped. WiseDraco's issue description matches mine exactly.

I'm still confused, though. The responses seem to be saying that the blank screen is an issue with Nvidia's KMS modesetting, introduced in 364.16. Except that, in my case, I haven't installed the Nvidia drivers. WiseDraco didn't either, according to his description. He let the Nvidia installer blacklist nouveau, then rebooted, presumably with the intention of running the installer again afterwards. This is exactly what I did, and is consistent with SlackDocs' instructions.

I assumed the resolution kick during boot was a feature of nouveau, which aragorn2101 confirms is the case, so I don't understand why it is still happening even after the blacklist conf is added. It can't be the Nvidia drivers doing it either, because I haven't had the chance to install them yet.
Old 07-20-2017, 05:43 AM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2017
Location: Columbus, OH
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 10

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Found a workaround thanks to a tip from someone elsewhere on the net.

My mistaken assumption was that KMS was controlled by my system's video drivers - either nouveau or Nvidia - and that it would not happen if neither were active. This is not the case, and presumably with no video drivers to help, KMS doesn't function correctly.

I'm still not entirely sure how the kernel decides what mode to boot into, but I was able to suppress KMS temporarily by adding the "nomodeset" option from LILO. This succeeded in preserving the default VESA mode so that I could get to the terminal and install the Nvidia drivers.

Unfortunately, despite what some people have said, the latest Nvidia driver does NOT work with KMS (at least not out of the box), as I still get a blank screen when it kicks in. The drivers are working in X, at least. Worst case scenario, I may have to disable KMS permanently by adding nomodeset to my lilo.conf, but I'm still hopeful that I can work this problem and get Nvidia and KMS to cooperate.
Old 07-20-2017, 08:19 PM   #7
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
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FWIW I neither use KMS nor any initrd. I install nVidia drivers as I have for years by dropping out of X to Slackware's runlevel 3, CLI Only mode and although this works fine even with the original Huge.s kernel, I always compile my own and simply enable ext4 as an in-kernel module. My lilo.conf states "vga = normal" and for good measure I do

[code] append = "nomodeset" [/quote]

I have zero problems with this arrangement.


kernel, nvidia

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